"A blind ascetic who has come to "Evaluate" the Spire. Master of the divine Stances."
The Watcher is one of four playable characters in Slay the Spire. She is a monk that utilizes the effects of her different stances to her advantage, boasts an arsenal oriented around deck control via scrying and/or retaining, and possesses the unique strategy of cards generation. She starts with 72 HP.
The Watcher has fewer class-specific relics than the other classes, having only two class-specific rare relics (rather than three like the Ironclad and Silent), and only two class-specific boss relics (rather than three, like those two and the Defect). The Defect has equally few overall, but is short two Rare relics instead of one Rare relic and one Boss relic.
This build is primarily defensive, and wants to utilize Establishment to lower the cost of your cards and build up to one incredibly powerful turn once costs are reduced and cards are powered up. This deck is going to be lower on attacks and heavy on skills.
Establishment - This is your best card. If you find it early, grab it and upgrade it the first chance you can get. Upgrading gives it Innate, meaning you will always draw it and only need one.
Windmill Strike - Your best attack card. This can sit in your hand and have its cost reduced thanks to Establishment, followed by a Stance change to Wrath, likely killing your target.
Meditate - This card combos with Establishment as well, since the two cards will be reduced as soon you pick them up. This will reduce the cost of any card you pick up, even if they don't have Retain. As well, going into Calm can help end a big turn.
You can setup a variety of infinites on small deck if you reduce cost of reusable cycling/draw cards, e.g. Inner Peace, Cut Through Fate.
Crescendo/Tranquility - It is preferable to have at least one of each in your deck. No need to upgrade them if you have Establishment, since they will cost 0 one turn later.
Spirit Shield - It's rare, but the best defensive card for this build, especially because you will have many cards in your hand. Upgrade this if you can, though it is optional to do so.
Scrawl - This allows you to fill up your hand, picking up several Retain cards.
Cut Through Fate - This is a good card regardless of your build. It is preferable to have one to help smooth out card draws.
A Ragnarok deck focuses on keeping a thin deck with a way to defend yourself until you get the perfect turn to unleash a buffed attack hopefully killing anything in your way. It helps to get the card fairly early, but a lot of Wrath-based decks can include it efficiently.
Ragnarok - The namesake of this deck, this card scales extremely well with the Wrath stance as well as several other cards. Upgrading it is a must.
The Flurry Stance deck relies on Flurry of Blows to add value to changing Stance, and Mental Fortress to keep yourself alive. It can be advantageous to not keep the deck ultra-thin to maximize the number of turns before your deck cycles.
Flurry of Blows - the key to this deck, and you want as many as possible. Your goal is to play as many as you can, and switch stances 2+ times in a turn to play all of them repeatedly. This pairs well with Fasting for extra damage, and Talk to the Hand for stacking up block. Make sure to play all of them before changing stances, not holding onto them for Wrath. Upgrading them helps although it's less valuable than upgrading the supporting cards.
Mental Fortress - if you upgrade these and/or obtain multiple, you can easily not have to worry about allowing enemies to attack you while in Wrath. This is your first priority when upgrading.
Talk to the Hand - you will be attacking in numerous small hits, and this allows borderline immortality when you get that ball rolling. Pairs well with Tantrum, which hits multiple times as well as changing your stance. Secondary upgrade priority.
Crescendo/Tranquility - In order for this deck to work, you need as many ways of changing stances as possible. These cards are valuable due to their Retain and, when upgraded, changing stance for free. Gather as many cards as you can that allow you to change stance, particularly on the cheap end. If you can switch in and out of Calm for a cost of 2 or less, it's essentially free, meanwhile allowing you to play every Flurry of Blows you have twice, half of them in Wrath. Meditate can also be worthwhile due to the cheap cost and ability to return a Wrath card to your hand. You do not however get to utilise the Flurry of Blows from Meditate.
Eruption/Vigilance - Do not remove these starting cards! They are great within this deck, especially when Eruption is upgraded to 1 cost.
Devotion - One of the key cards of the deck, Devotion stacks incredibly well with itself and other supporting cards. 3 of them upgraded will consistently allow you to enter Divinity every turn with ease. Should likely be the first thing to upgrade.
Brilliance - The damage values skyrocket with this card. Entering Divinity for the first time requires a minimum of 10 Mantra, giving it 20 damage, which Divinity triples for 60. The sky is the limit.
Prostrate - A free 2 Mantra goes a long way when you have multiple of this card, or others that support it. A valuable addition to any Mantra deck.
Pray/Worship - While alone fairly poor, do not pass up these cards if you are workings on a Mantra deck. The card draw from Pray'sInsight is useful when you enter Divinity and resources cease to be a problem.
Scry enables you to refine what you draw, and cards such as Weave and Nirvana can turn Scrying into a powerful action. Similar in play-style to the Flurry Stance deck, doesn't need to be kept thin at all due to the Scrying, which can go through large decks quickly.
Weave - Similar to Flurry of Blows, you will want as many of these as possible, as you can return them all to your hand multiple times per turn. When Scrying, these can be discarded to draw your powerful cards more quickly, since they can easily be retrieved from the discard pile.
Nirvana - Rewards you with Block upon scrying. Serves a similar function to Mental Fortress but for a Scry deck; if you have many of them, you can chain up large amounts of block effortlessly. Upgrade priority.
Foresight - The best card to have at least 1 of for this deck. Every turn you trigger Nirvana and get to play every Weave again. Upgrading it/obtaining additional copies won't trigger this more than once, however it will allow you to fine tune your draw more carefully, and throw more Weaves into the discard pile.
Cut Through Fate - A distinctly powerful card that not only grants you a Scry, but draws a card. The card draw is valuable for getting those Scry-curated cards from the top of your deck into your hand.
Just Lucky - Brilliant utility card for this deck, since the scry amount matters far less than the act of scrying itself. Returning every Weave to your hand for free is the primary use of this coin.
Third Eye - Solid card with a scry effect. In case it isn't obvious, you want as many cards that scry as possible.
Talk to the Hand - Just as with the Stance Dancer deck, attacking with numerous small attacks makes this card a fantastic addition to the deck, and can even enable you to safely remain in Wrath if you so desire.
Relying on Pressure Points and not much else, the strategy is to limit your deck size to be as small as possible, while having as many Pressure Points as possible. Potent against single enemies but falters against groups and Artifact.
Pressure Points - the focal point of the deck, get as many as possible and upgrade where possible.
Calm - Due to Pressure Points not gaining a buff from being in Wrath, there's not much motivation to exit Calm. Considers picking cards that help entering, or capitalize on remaining in Calm
Like Water - Grants quite potent Block while you remains in Calm. Get as many as you can find to bolster this deck defensive nature.
Meditate - Apart from entering Calm, it can return one or two Pressure Points that you have played to your hand. If you have this card, consider picking Establishment to help reduce the cost of cards that Meditate returns from discard pile.
Exiting Calm may also be used to gain resources in a pinch. To avoid doubling enemy attack damage, consider cards such as Empty Fist, Empty Body, and Empty Mind. The last two are especially effective in this deck as it grants Block and card draw, respectively.
Spirit Shield - Insight and retain cards can quickly and reliably max out your hand, greatly augmenting the potential of this block.
Conjure Blade - This is a potential game winner, if connected to enough energy. This entire deck can be focused down to defending until you can produce a powerful enough Expunger, and then wiping the floor with that.
Establishment - Since most created cards retain, this card give you much more value from them.
The Watcher has a lot of cards that rely on the card before it, or the stance you are in, for extra effects. This can effectively create a "combo", in which, if played well, can lead to a card fulfilling the requirements of the next.
Crush Joints - This card is particularly useful as the start of a long string of combos, as it requires a Skill first to activate its secondary effect of adding vulnerability. Not only that, but it is also useful as a start of a combo because of the vulnerability that affects the enemy.
Follow-Up - This is effectively a 0 cost card for a reasonable amount of damage. Although it is only 1 damage more than a simple "strike", it can still be used as a filler card between combo cards. Upgrading it would be very useful.
Sash Whip - The weakness inflicted by this card is not going to be useful if the enemy is not intending to attack, which it probably shouldn't be if you are stringing up for an attack combo. Which is why upgrading this is very important so that the weakness can carry on to the second turn.
Alpha is a card which requires a lot of investment within fights (you have to draw 3 cards and play 6 mana just for it to work), but has a really awesome pay-off if you can pull it off. Generally Alpha decks work best when they are small and contain a lot of supporting block cards. Creating an alpha deck is a popular way to complete the minimalist achievement, as you essentially only need alpha combined with a few block cards to win the game.
Alpha - The backbone of this deck. Alpha shuffles a Beta into your deck.
Beta - Beta shuffles Omega into your deck. This isn't a card you can pick up (unfortunately) but is rather something that is generated during fights.
Omega - Omega is a power, that once played will deal 50 damage to all enemies at the end of your turn. It is worth noting that it will deal the 50 damage EVERY turn. The damage is not affected by wraith form or divinity. Omega quickly clears hallway fights and elites however you may need to continue blocking for a few turns to finish bosses off.
Omniscience- Omniscience really shines in this deck. For 3 (or 4) mana you can essentially rip Omega right out of your deck and play it twice. That is 100 damage per turn. If you are in a really sticky situation it can sometimes be worth playing Omniscience on Beta to ensure that you will draw Omega next turn but this is generally not advised.
Third Eye- This card gives you both block and scry, things that this deck really needs. Block is so you can live long enough to play Omega and scry so you can make sure that you draw it.
Deceive Reality / Evaluate - Whilst these aren't quite as good as third eye, they both work towards the blocking/surviving objective.
Sanctity- You need to be careful playing this card. It gives you block and draws cards at the same time which in theory are very good things for this deck. Also, your deck should be full of mainly skills cards so you shouldn't have any trouble triggering its secondary effect. However, if you play sanctity without enough mana to play the next stage of your alpha combo, you could be doing yourself a major disservice. For example: you start the game with 3 mana. If you play alpha, then sanctity you only have 1 mana left. If sanctity draws Beta it then gets stuck in your discard pile.
Duplication Potions- Omega's best friend. Similar to Omniscience but in potion form.
This is essentially a Mantra deck that can go infinite through card cycling with small deck, using upgraded Pray with Master Reality and cheap, reusable way to enter Calm like Inner Peace. This combo is very hard to achieve as you depend on luck to acquire the right card while keeping a small, playable deck as you build toward this combo.
Each Pray allow you to draw 3 cards via an upgraded Insight if combo correctly. When you go infinite, Pray put itself to discard pile and put a Insight to the draw pile, meaning each Pray nets you +1 card draw, meaning you can use 1 more card along with each Pray used.
Like many infinite, you need to have a small deck. This infinite requires (at least) 1 Insight in your hand, and empty draw/discard pile when this combo is running.
Pray cycle: Play Pray which generates Insight in draw pile, then play Insight in your hand to draw Pray and Insight. Depend on the situation, you can play 1 more card each cycle as upgraded Insight can draw 3 cards.
Repeat this cycle, but make sure you are in Calm before entering (or reentering) Divinity. When you are at 6+ Mantra, play Inner Peace to enter Calm, then Pray to enter Divinity (again) and Insight to recycle your cards.
While in Divinity, you can play 1 more card along with your cycle. Good targets: Brilliance, Wallop. Pay attention to your Energy to make sure you can continue your combo. Remember to switch to Inner Peace at 6+ Mantra.
Brilliance as main damage card, Wallop for fight with Time Eater where you cannot go infinite and have to end your turn with Block, or with the Heart where you need Block while doing your infinite (also to end your turn with Block).
Like other infinites, Peace Pipe, Purity can help with reducing your Deck size. As the Watcher has no native exhausting card like Ironclad's True Grit, Purity is required most of the time if you cannot remove enough card.
You can add more copies of Pray and Inner Peace to add consistency, as long as you can keep a small deck. Additional Inner Peace can be used to draw cards when needed. Cards that exhaust themselves like Scrawl and Deus Ex Machina can help setting up the infinite.
Although not essential, Sundial is excellent in this deck, as for any other infinite deck. Violet Lotus gives 1 more energy each Divinity-Calm cycle.